Smith College Protesters Bar Journalists from Covering Sit-In Unless They Support the Cause

Andy Thomason, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19, 2015

Student protesters at Smith College barred journalists from a sit-in on Wednesday that drew a crowd of hundreds unless they agreed to support the cause, reports The Republican, a newspaper in Springfield, Mass.

The sit-in was held in solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri, who have for months spoken out against the treatment of black students on the campus, and who last week succeeded in forcing the resignations of the system’s president and the flagship campus’s chancellor.

Reporters planning to cover the sit-in arrived at the Massachusetts college’s student center on Wednesday only to find that the protesters intended to keep them out. Alyssa Mata-Flores, a Smith senior and a sit-in organizer, elaborated on the decision to The Republican: “We are asking that any journalists or press that cover our story participate and articulate their solidarity with black students and students of color. By taking a neutral stance, journalists and media are being complacent in our fight.”

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Smith College backed the students’ demand, saying it had the right to remove journalists who didn’t comply because, unlike Missouri, it is a private college. {snip}

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